Have you ever had one of those moments when you wish you could take back a statement or comment that just flew out of your mouth. You know it was taken wrongly or will be or it hurt someone unfairly and needlessly? Yep, most of us have done that. It’s a bad feeling and we can’t rewind the incident and get a do-over.
But there are things that people regularly say , ideas many think it’s alright to verbalize and have no qualms about it. In some cases they’re not that harmful words but they’re plain wrong. In other cases there may be an element of truth to them but they lack sensitivity, care and concern. And if we’ll consider them now, maybe we’ll avoid them in the future and not wish we had the moment to re-live.
See what you think:
- Everything’s going to be alright. So often we want to reduce fear or angst and help someone face a difficult moment but there’s one thing that we can’t guarantee: that everything will turn out okay. It might, we can pray for that and life will go on but it may not end the way we hoped.
- I went through the same thing as you are. Again, we mean well wanting to let a person or family know that we understand their situation but there are two problems. First, their situation and ours will never be exactly the same. And two, what we’re really implying is that they then should be alright in the moment or at least better than they are. “I made it so why can’t you,” is the unintended message.
- You deserve to be happy. I agree that happiness is a good goal and it’s even part of the language of our founding documents as most of us know. But happiness typically doesn’t trump doing the right thing, staying in a relationship for the long haul or avoiding some new way to dull pain. Happy may have to wait. Happiness for us has never been God’s first priority anyway. It’s fulfillment.
- You can do anything you put your mind to. The response to this one is easy: NO YOU CAN’T!! I would love to fly jets, I’m a wannabe pilot. But even if I were to put my aging mind to it and dream big, at sixty-six that’s not a given and probably won’t happen. Neither can I become a surgeon, mountain guide in the Himalayas or NASCAR driver just because I believe I can. The better encouragement is to tell people they still matter and can be significant no matter their age or circumstances.
- The big man upstairs. While I can never know the heart or intent of another person, I’m confident that most of the time when people talk about God in these terms they really don’t know or understand Him. They probably believe one of a short list of ideas: God isn’t really real, God is just some nice grandpa in the sky somewhere, God will sometimes bail me out when I need Him but I won’t connect with Him otherwise, God isn’t the King of Kings and Lord of the Universe, the creator of all things.
I’ve written often that words matter. They are a window or radiation of what’s in our soul, mind and spirit. They can also represent some concepts that we would be wise to re-visit and re-think so that we can enjoy truth in all its forms and let it change us and our relationships with others.
Become a deeper thinker, person, friend, Christ follower and relative by considering your words and maybe just dropping a few phrases that you really don’t need or want to need anymore!